Hardwood Hustle: Triton’s Toughness Conquers Central In Extras

• McDougald came off the bench in the fourth quarter to make a key defensive play.
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. McDougald came off the bench in the fourth quarter to make a key defensive play.

By JOHN LUCAS

For The Record

Triton’s varsity boys basketball team got a much-needed 67-65 win in a double-overtime thriller at Tri-County Six 3-A Conference and Harnett County rival Harnett Central Wednesday.

After losing three straight games by narrow margins, Triton boys coach T.J. Morrison was happy to finally be on the positive side of a tight finish.

“You’ve got to figure if you keep pushing, you’re bound to get one to go your way,” Morrison said. “I’m happy for the kids. I’m happy we hit a few free throws.”

“It was a good game to be part of, it was just bad to be on this end,” said Central boys coach Will Gage. “I thought our guys competed. I thought we played hard down to the end. In the end, it might be stating the obvious, but they simply made more plays than we did.”

Four players scored in double-digits to lead the Hawks(13-10,4-5TCSC).Shi’quanCoxandMaurice Williams had 15 points apiece, Chrishaun Henry had 14 points and Kalil Hodges had 10 points.

Also for Triton, Christion Green had six points, Travion Sanders had three and Derreon Burnett had two.

Senior Jalaan Signal scored 24 points to pace the Trojans (12-9, 4-5).

Kasey Perkins had nine points. Justin Perkins and Kaizer Ray had seven points apiece. Adam Jackson and Adonye Fubara had six points apiece. Garrett Weis and Hayden Smith had three points apiece.

Prior to the game, Central honored seven seniors: Zach Dixon, Montrey McAllister, Adam Jackson, Garrett Weis, Jalaan Signal, Adonye Fubara and Kaizer Ray.

The game was closely contested from wire-towire, with Central holding a slight lead most of the way.

With just under a minute to play, Harnett Central had possession with a 47-44 lead when a ball got loose on an inbounds pass. Latrell McDougald, who had just subbed in specifically to play defense, dove for the ball, recovered it for a steal and called a timeout. That led to Williams hitting a game-tying three for the Hawks with 46 seconds left.

“Latrell’s a high-energy guy,” Morrison said. “We know he’s going to go hard. We know he’s going to defend.”

Central took the lead back on a pair of Ray free throws, but Henry was fouled with 0.5 seconds left and made both shots to send the game to overtime.

After the first overtime was a stalemate, Triton opened the second on a 4-0 run and led the rest of the way.

After coming off the bench, Triton's Latrell McDougald risks bruised knees and floor burn to scoop up a loose ball with under a minute in the fourth quarter. He called a timeout to secure the critical steal that spurred a sequence sending Wednesday night's game into double overtime. Coming off a 'snake-bitten' streak of five straight losses, the Hawks won the conference road game by two points, 67-65.

Daily Record Photo/John Lucas

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